Model for self-healing composites

A model for self-healing anisotropic composites

Universität Duisburg-Essen

Self-healing materials belong to the class of smart materials. These materials can change their properties due to external influences. Inspired by biological systems, the development and manufacture of self-healing materials in view of new applications in engineering, material science and medicine is a subject of international research. The aim of the research project is to develop a continuum-based micromechanical model and algorithms for the description of self-healing anisotropic composites. The fiber reinforced composites consist of a weak solid matrix and different fiber families, the healing process is based on the existence of healing agents embedded in the solid matrix. For the macroscopic description of these materials, an FE-discretization of the microstructure is used to fit the microscopic behavior to the homogenized macrostructure. The healing process of the matrix is modeled within the framework of the Theory of Porous Media (TPM), where criteria for the onset and progression of healing are formulated following experimental observations. The places of damage (cracks), the amount of healing agents as well the basic and the self-healed material can be identified by the corresponding volume fractions of a Representative Volume Element (RVE) in a finite element simulation.